Silicon Valley Startup Sushi Cloud Rolls Out Bare-metal Services with GIGABYTE
The Silicon Valley startup Sushi Cloud is competing in the public cloud sector by providing “bare-metal” services that give users exclusive access to individual, standalone servers on the cloud, resulting in a triple boost to performance, versatility, and reliability. Sushi Cloud purchased GIGABYTE’s R152-Z30 Rack Servers to offer its clients the state-of-the-art performance of AMD EPYC™ CPUs; the versatility afforded by superb memory and storage capacities, in addition to OS and software ecosystem compatibility; and GIGABYTE’s proprietary high availability features (such as SCMP and dual ROM) and remote management functions (such as GIGABYTE Management Console and GIGABYTE Server Management).
Readers familiar with the evolution of computer science will know that the appliance of its inventions to real-life situations has always been—as it must always be with cutting-edge innovations—a bit of a moving target, akin to trying to land a jet plane on an aircraft carrier in rough seas. Market demand influences product design, but the constraints of available technologies also shape user habits. What we end up with is often an approximation of the ideal scenario: perfectly workable and sometimes surpassing our expectations, but never without room for improvement.《Glossary: What is Computer Science?》
Such is the case with cloud computing. In the beginning, back when computers were physically enormous and enormously pricey, every client device (sometimes called a “dumb terminal”) had to connect to a mainframe to get any computing done. This changed when it became possible to mass produce high-end personal computers. The paradigm shift over the last two decades has been a move back to centralized computing, as breakthroughs in communications technology make it possible for end users to access servers much more powerful than their own devices over the internet. This heralded the rise of cloud computing.
The modern cloud computing environment is a grab bag of different practices. For larger enterprises and public institutes that have the wherewithal to build their own server rooms, a single-tenant, highly secure private cloud is usually the go-to choice. For users who opt to go with the public cloud, the “Big Three” cloud service providers (CSPs)—Amazon Web Service (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure—are among the most popular options. Both public and private clouds have their benefits—but what if there could be something better?
Positioning itself as a “cloud computing challenger brand”, Sushi Cloud started in the Australian market and expanded into the US and Canadian market to provide innovative cloud services. The company offers clients the “bare-metal” variant of the single-tenant dedicated cloud service. “Bare-metal” refers to the renting of individual, standalone servers in their entirety to customers over the cloud; rather than actually shipping the server to the user, it is housed and maintained by the CSP. This is different from a public cloud, which may host multiple tenants on the same server through virtualization. Bare-metal allows users to enjoy exclusive access to the computing resources they have rented, which may lead to a substantial upgrade in terms of performance, versatility, and reliability. In short, it brings the perks of the private cloud to the public cloud.
“We wanted to solve three critical pain points for our clients,” says Shauna O’Flaherty, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Sushi Cloud. “Firstly, their cloud compute costs, which can make up a majority of their IT expenditure. Secondly, their need to operate on enterprise-grade, high-core-count, bare-metal, zero-compromise servers with an intuitive setup process. And thirdly, bill shock, which may occur when using public cloud services.”
One of the key reasons Sushi Cloud has been able to accomplish all this is because they found the right server solutions to help them turn vision into reality. GIGABYTE Technology is an industry leader in the tech sector with a proven track record of providing data center and server solutions for global CSPs. Sushi Cloud purchased a batch of GIGABYTE’s R152-Z30 Rack Servers to form the backbone of the bare-metal infrastructure.
Luke Flesher, SVP of Marketing at Sushi Cloud, explains why they chose GIGABYTE: “We had a number of servers from other manufacturers which we trialed before deciding on GIGABYTE as the server brand that best suits our needs. We have had a zero failure rate on GIGABYTE hardware—which cannot be said for the other brands!”
The R152-Z30 exemplifies three quintessential attributes that make GIGABYTE servers not only the ideal choice for pushing the envelope in the cloud sector, but also other up-and-coming trends in computer science, such as AI, HPC, and even the metaverse. These attributes are:
1. Top-line performance in a compact form factor: Advanced processing power which takes up a minimum of data center real estate can give customers more bang for their buck.
2. Hardware versatility paired with software compatibility: User convenience is paramount in the era of “plug and play” tech. Fortunately, GIGABYTE servers have the flexibility to shine in various different roles.
3. Dependable, reliable, and remotely manageable: One of the golden rules of cloud computing is that its services must always be available. GIGABYTE servers ship with proprietary features that help CSPs achieve this with minimal hassle.
GIGABYTE’s R152-Z30 Rack Server embodies three key advantages of the modern server solution: incredible processing power in a small form factor, the flexibility to perform a variety of functions, and special features that make operations and maintenance a breeze.
The First Quintessence: Maximal Computing Power with a Minimal Footprint
At its core (pun intended), the primary selling point of bare-metal is the fact that users have complete control over the computing resources they have paid for—every thread and every core. For less demanding workloads, such as hosting a web domain, the difference between the various types of cloud services may seem negligible. But for compute-intensive tasks where processors must give it their all, there is hardly a better choice than bare-metal.《Glossary: What is Thread?》
“We run a variety of CPU types and RAM quantities across the servers due to the different requirements and budgets of our clients,” says Mr. Flesher. “For servers used in areas such as machine learning, the number of cores is the most critical factor that ensures data sets are processed as quickly as possible.”《Glossary: What is Machine Learning?》
GIGABYTE R152-Z30 runs on the latest generation of AMD EPYC™ 7003 Series Processors, which scale from 8 to 64 cores (or 16 to 128 threads) in a single socket. The CPUs deliver up to 32MB of L3 cache per core, 4-6-8 memory channel interleaving to optimize performance in multiple DIMM configurations, and synchronized clocks between fabric and memory. They are one of the frontrunners in the current x86 market segment and can deliver outstanding performance across a wide spectrum of workload types.《Glossary: What is DIMM?》
The R152-Z30’s compact form factor is also noteworthy. Taking up just one rack unit (measuring about 1.75 inches high) of space inside a server rack, the R152-Z30 breaks the mold in processing-power-to-footprint ratio. Deploying this server is made easy thanks to its petite size, whether you’re filling up an entire rack or just the leftover space in racks which are already populated. GIGABYTE’s exclusive air-cooling techniques—such as the “Automatic Fan Speed Control” function, which adjusts individual fan speeds based on feedback from temperature sensors installed in the server—ensure that thermal management is a breeze when you choose the R152-Z30.《Glossary: What is Rack Unit?》
The Second Quintessence: Versatile Hardware Configurations Plus OS and Software Ecosystem Compatibility
Among GIGABYTE’s extensive range of server solutions, the Rack Servers are designed specifically for versatility and multifunctionality. They can fulfill different roles in a data center, from computing to storage to even networking. For Sushi Cloud’s purposes, this defining trait is extraordinarily beneficial, because bare-metal servers are often configured according to the end user’s preferences before the CSP hands control over to the client.
Sushi Cloud positions itself as a “challenger cloud compute company” that competes in the market with the bare-metal variant of cloud services. Bare-metal gives end users exclusive access to the computing resources they have paid for. GIGABYTE’s R152-Z30 Rack Server is the backbone of Sushi Cloud’s bare-metal infrastructure.
In terms of hardware, we all know impressive memory and storage capacities are necessary if the server’s powerful processors are to really shine. The R152-Z30 supports 8-Channel RDIMM/LRDIMM DDR4 and 16 DIMM slots. GIGABYTE’s unique design allows for maximum memory speed even when using 2 DIMMS per channel—a clock speed of 3200Mhz can be enabled for 2 DPC in the BIOS setting. For storage, the R152-Z30 has 4 3.5" SATA hot-swappable HDD/SSD bays, which can also support 2.5" HDD/SSD. Ultra-fast M.2 with PCIe/NVMe interface is used to unleash the full potential of solid-state storage. These hardware configurations make it possible for the R152-Z30 to handle the most arduous of computing tasks.
Sushi Cloud’s clients are accustomed to choosing their own operating systems and software—which means the R152-Z30 is just what the doctor ordered. GIGABYTE servers are certified with a number of preeminent software partners and compatible across various ecosystems. GIGABYTE’s status as a member of key software alliance partner programs means it is able to rapidly develop and validate joint solutions. In turn, this enables customers to modernize their IT infrastructure and application services with efficiency, flexibility, and cost optimization.
The Third Quintessence: High Availability for End-users, Easy Remote Management for CSPs
Here is an axiom that hardly needs repeating—cloud-based digital services should always be available. There’s nothing more infuriating for an avid gamer than the notification: “servers down”. For enterprises that rely on the cloud to do business or scientists eager to affix their name to the next big discovery (imagine having an exoplanet named after you!), the severity of unreliable cloud services goes from hair-tearing frustration to incalculable losses—certainly no laughing matter.
For Sushi Cloud, server failure is never an option, because their clients run mission-critical applications and services on the bare-metal servers. The fact they chose GIGABYTE attests to the quality and reliability of GIGABYTE’s server products. Specifically, the R152-Z30 is shipped with these proprietary features designed to ensure high availability:
● Smart Crises Management and Protection SCMP is a patented feature deployed in GIGABYTE servers without a fully redundant power supply unit (PSU) design. In the event of a faulty PSU or overheating, SCMP forces the CPU to enter ultra-low power mode, reducing the power load. This protects the system from unexpected shutdowns and prevents component damage or data loss.
● Dual ROM Architecture In the unlikely event that the ROM storing the BIOS and BMC fails to boot, the system will reboot with the backup BIOS and/or BMC. Once the primary BMC is updated, the ROM of the backup version will automatically synchronize. The BIOS can be updated based on the firmware version.
Remote management is another feature on the GIGABYTE servers that is incredibly important. Since Sushi Cloud’s servers are often installed in different countries, the support staff requires quick and reliable access to the server management system to properly service their clients. Through a specialized processor built in the server, GIGABYTE offers these two free-of-charge management applications:
● GIGABYTE Management Console For management and maintenance of a server or a small computing cluster, users can employ the pre-installed GIGABYTE Management Console to perform real-time health monitoring and management through a browser-based graphical user interface (GUI). The GIGABYTE Management Console offers support for standard IPMI specifications, automatic event recording, and integrated SAS/SATA/NVMe devices and RAID controller firmware.
● GIGABYTE Server Management GSM is a software suite that allows the management of server clusters simultaneously over the internet. GSM can be downloaded from the official GIGABYTE website. GSM complies with IPMI and Redfish standards, and it includes a complete range of system management functions—such as GSM Server for real-time remote control, GSM CLI for remote monitoring and management, GSM Agent for data retrieval through the OS, GSM Mobile for remote management through a mobile app, and GSM Plugin which allows the use of VMware vCenter for real-time monitoring and management.
GIGABYTE Servers Help CSPs, Startups, and Other Institutions Achieve Success
Compared with the more “mainstream” forms of public and private cloud services, bare-metal is truly a different kettle of fish—one that's gathering steam thanks to the innovative work done by proponents like Sushi Cloud.
With the addition of GIGABYTE’s R152-Z30 to their infrastructure, Sushi Cloud is doing swimmingly well. Its services are especially popular among customers who have high performance needs but limited budgets—such as AI and ML startups, and also universities and other research institutes. Bare-metal offers such clients a higher return-on-investment and the opportunity to reallocate precious funds to other tasks. According to Sushi Cloud, some of their clients have been able to cut their AI training time by upwards of 50%.
Luke Flesher says, “GIGABYTE servers can be relied upon to do whatever workloads are thrown at them and just keep on going flawlessly.”
GIGABYTE Technology is pleased to provide cutting-edge server solutions to the Silicon Valley startup Sushi Cloud and help it explore bold new advancements in the field of cloud computing. Whether it is bare-metal or conventional public and private cloud infrastructures, GIGABYTE has the tech solution for every application. High tech will be the catalyst that transforms our world into a smarter, safer, and better place—or, as the GIGABYTE motto says: “Upgrade Your Life”.